This article appeared in the City of Dayton Annual Report for 1942, pages 79-81
Our City Parks and Playgrounds
S. E. Seitner
We are becoming more conscious of the social significance in the construction and outlay of parks, and their contribution to the life of the people through our widespread recreational opportunities.
Advancement in public thinking has brought about an entirely new attitude towards parks. No longer can their establishment be left to the vagaries of chance, but it is generally recognized that they must be provided and so distributed that all our people may be able to enjoy them. Our City parks are much improved in quality, but areas of more varied character should be established.
It must be recognized that there is great variance in City-owned parks, and in the quality of the program. However, cities as a whole are extending their recreational programs and are leading the way to further cultural accomplishments. Our parks can be looked upon as training grounds for the increase in appreciation of all the opportunities for cultural development as found in the larger and more inspiring National and State Parks.
The kind of intimate enjoyment of nature and of solitude which characterized a Henry Thoreau does not just happen. It needs opportunity for development and growth. A wooded river bank as is found along DeWeese boulevard and DeWeese Park, north of the city, natural wooded areas as Hills and Dales Park, Madden Park, Eastwood Park, and Triangle Park provide opportunity in some measure for this development of character.
Boys will explore these little wildernesses and will become acquainted with squirrels, groundhogs, birds, wild flowers and trees, and some of them will develop a sensitiveness to nature, which will add to the appreciation of our National Parks and other great natural monuments. In addition, our parks offer the opportunity of real recreation, picnics, horseback riding, hiking, golfing, archery, boating and the convenience and enjoyment of outdoor camps.
The Lookout tower located in [p. 79] Hills and Dales along Southern Boulevard offers a splendid view of the valley south of Dayton, and where can be appreciated the beautiful landscape dotted with houses and farms. We must not be unmindful of the beauty spots located in some of our parks within the corporate limits, the beautiful flower beds in Riverview Park and McKinley Park, which contain about 15,000 plants, both annuals and perennials. These were a source of inspiration to many who visited them.
In most of our parks within the City, areas are used for children’s playgrounds. Here we have swings, slides, sand boxes and wading pools in an environment of beautiful trees and shrubbery. We believe the outdoor playground should be as beautiful as the outdoors of our home grounds.
Softball and baseball came in for their share this past year as attested by the many teams which used the diamonds at Kettering and Deeds Fields. Band concerts and other special programs were well attended at the Band Shell in Island Park.
The newly developed park-playground known as Fairview Park [p. 80] [Photo: Lake in Eastwood Park] will be ready for use the coming year. Two tennis courts, a ball diamond, football field and shelter house have been completed. Shrubbery and trees have been planted, thus again maintaining our standard of a beautiful and well laid out playground.
During these troublesome times we must not forget to play. We must not forget the beauties of nature. We must not forget that relaxation and beauty and recreation are needed to keep up our morale. We must not forget that only in our beautiful parks and on our splendid playgrounds can this best be had.